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Archive for February, 2008

Karnataka’s or South India’s first luxury train the ‘Golden Chariot’ was flagged off by President Pratibha Patil here in Bangalore on Saturday 2nd Feb. However, the train will start ferrying passengers only from the 3rd of March after a few final touches.

The train, a long-awaited dream of Karnataka tourism is going to open up many parts of the state to tourists especially the NRI’s and international travelers who were earlier exposed to select states like Rajasthan and Kerala. The train, which has 19 thematically designed coaches, during its week-long journey would cover Mysore, Kabini, Hassan, Hampi, Hospet and Goa before return back to the city.

All coaches are designed based on ancient Karnataka history and this is the only luxury train in the country that is also equipped with modern facilities like plasma TV, satellite television and wi-fi facility.

The cabins of the trains are inspired by the Mysore and Belur Halebid schools of art and architecture. The bedspreads are hand-woven by artisans who have carried down the tradition through ages. The coaches have been named after the dynasties that ruled Karnataka namely Kadamba, Hoysala, Rastrakuta, Ganga, Chalukya, Bhahamani, Adhilshahi, Sangama, Shathavahna, Yudukula and Vijayanagara.

The only catch is the pricing and as expected this 7 day journey will set you back by $ 350/- (Rs 14,000) per nite. This will include all your expenses on board the train and the site seeing at various locations with specialized tour guides.

Guess for someone who’s been wanting to gift their parents a dream holiday.. well this is your chance.

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Most of us Bangaloreans tend to neglect this place but trust me, one visit to this biological park and u’ll be impressed with it. Maybe cos it just exceeds your expectation for an animal & bird park but watever the reason, its well worth the visit.

BBP as is popularly known is about 25kms from the heart of the city and is connect with well tarred roads and plenty of buses including Volvos. So getting there isn’t a problem at all i.e if you can handle the traffic until you get to the outskirts of the city.

Once u’r there a small entry fee shud get you into the park but don’t forget to leave behind u’r plastic covers as this is strickly a No Plastic Zone. Thanks to the Forest Officers and a few corporates, this initiative has created a lot of awareness and concern for protection of wild life and nature.

The entire place is spic & span with clean pathways and well appointed description boards. There is a touch screen kiosk set up by Intel with info on all the birds n animals found in Karnataka. There is a small museum of stuffed animals along with pictures of rare species. The audi next to it screens three shows everyday on wildlife and conservation. These shows are mainly targeted at school children as they are the ones who will create impact in the future. Some of the rare animals housed here are Civet Cat, Great Indian Hornbill, Star Tortoises along with varieties of crocodiles. A special Tiger & Lion safari can also be explored at an additional cost.

Recently the park (Tiger & Lion reserve) was successful in breeding tiger and 3 cubs were born which are under special care. There is a special Rescue Centre where animals seized from circus operators and poachers are cared for and is off limits to the public. The park authorities have also set up a special Butterfly park just next to the park with hundreds of varieties of colorful butterflies. This is also something which you will not find everywhere. The park also has volunteers (Techies mostly) who come in once a week and spend time educating the public on the dos & donts and also contribute for the welfare of these animals.

So, the next time when u are free and want to do something interesting, just pick up a bottle of water, a good camera and head to BBP. It’ll be a wonderful experience and your partner / friend / colleague will really appreciate your choice. And if you want to spend the nite at this park, do connect with us and we’ll set u up.

ur escapist

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